Oxidative stress in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is a well-accepted pathogenic change in vision-threatening diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. One source of oxidative stress is excessive light exposure, which causes excessive activation of the visual cycle. Because short wavelength light (blue light) has more energy, it is reported to be more harmful to photoreceptor cells than the other wavelengths of light. However, the biological effect of blue light in the RPE of living animals and the protective effect of a yellow intraocular lens (IOL) material that blocks blue light is still obscure. Therefore, we compared the pathogenic effect in the RPE-choroid complexes of mice exposed to light in a box made of a clear or a yellow IOL material. We measured the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) using 2', 7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate, the mRNA levels of inflammatory cytokines and a macrophage marker by real-time polymerase chain reaction, and the protein level of monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) by ELISA. The ROS level after light exposure was suppressed in the RPE-choroids of light-exposed mice in the yellow IOL material box. In parallel, all the inflammatory cytokines that we measured and a macrophage marker were also suppressed in the RPE-choroids of light-exposed mice in the yellow IOL material box. Therefore, a yellow IOL material suppressed, and thus blue light exacerbated, the increase in the ROS level and inflammatory cytokine expression as well as macrophage recruitment in the RPE-choroid in vivo after light exposure.
Keywords: Age-related macular degeneration; Blue light; Inflammatory cytokine; Macrophage; Reactive oxygen species; Retinal pigment epithelium.
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